A fallen chocolate cake:  the petal colours stand out against the dark background.

Ample opportunity to decorate this tasty cake with ganache, fruit or flowers

Plums in puff pastry. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography

Plums, soft almond frangipane and crispy puff pastry are a match made in heaven

Plums in puff pastry. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography

Serves 6

Japanese cheesecake. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography

This is about as far from a thick, unctuous New York cheesecake as you can get

Delicious: raspberry lamingtons

Lamingtons are the go-to cake for parties and coffee mornings in Australia and New Zealand

Chocolate custard tarts: All the delights of a custard tart but with a chocolate boost. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography

For extra brownie points, grate more chocolate over the top once the tarts are cold

Baklava

There is something magical about baklava. Layers of the thinnest pastry, filled with chopped nuts and soaked in aromatic syrup

This is definitely a dessert to pass around the table

Brioche, sliced and spread with butter and tangy blackcurrant jam or fragrant honey, is hard to resist.

How brioche manages to be so light and yet so buttery must be one of the wonders of the world

Easy macarons: These are based on the light, crisp, French-style macarons.

Homemade non-identical treats like these win out over shop-bought perfection every time

These lemon squares will disappear the moment you turn your back

Mixture of zest and juice showcases real depth of flavour possible with versatile fruit

Vegan raspberry tartlets

A coconut-based dessert, ideal for the vegan guest at your next dinner party

Easy pound cake: a recipe that every baker should keep in their repertoire

This farmhouse treat frequently elicits more praise than other flamboyant creations

Ice-cream sandwiches. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography

Feel free to swap in your favourite flavoured ice-cream to fill the centre

Ice-cream sandwiches. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography

Makes 10

Tray bake: Apricot and almond fingers

Baking: This apricot and almond tray bake will be a popular biscuit-tin filler

Apricot and almond fingers.

This apricot and almond tray bake will be popular as a biscuit tin filler

Raspberry millefeuilles. Photograph: Harry Weir

Vanessa Greenwood: Construct as many layers of pastry, cream and berries as you dare

Meringues can be made up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container until needed

Vanessa Greenwood: As good weather arrives, make the most of the abundant fruit

Plum upside-down cake. Photograph: iStock

If it’s not the weather for cooking outdoors, you can stick this in the oven instead

Rich chocolate muffins. Photograph: Harry Weir

Bigger is better when it comes to these light and fluffy treats

Unicorn cake
Unicorn cake

Makes one large 20cm cake

A unicorn cake that makes a big impression

Vanessa Greenwood: This is easier to make than you'd think. And it's fun to decorate

Easter parade: served on Good Friday, hot cross buns mark the end of Lent

Vanessa Greenwood: I love them halved, toasted and spread with lots of butter

Hot cross buns

Photograph: Harry Weir
Apple slices

Pastry base, apple centre and soft sponge topping

Vanessa Greenwood’s apple slices. Photograph: Harry Weir

Vanessa Greenwood: These deliciously fruity slices are as easy to make as apple pie

Banoffee pavlova

A delicious twist on the classic biscuit base banoffee

Banoffee pavlova

Vanessa Greenwood: A delicious twist on the classic biscuit-base banoffee

Baked cheesecake with red berry glaze. Photograph: Harry Weir

Makes a 20cm round cheesecake

Baked cheesecake with red berry glaze. Photograph: Harry Weir

The red berry glaze gives an impressive finish and covers over any cracks

Vanessa Greenwood’s fruit cobbler
Fruit cobbler

Fruit cobbler. Photograph: Harry Weir

Vanessa Greenwood: This fruit cobbler is a quick and easy after-supper treat

Mint chocolate bars. Photograph: Harry Weir

A chocolatey base is topped with a fondant filling. Try them straight from the freezer

Rhubarb pie
Rhubarb pie

Serve your rhubarb pie warm, with ice cream or freshly whipped cream.

Vanessa Greenwood: No need to prebake the pastry base with this easy recipe

Plain scones. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography

Truly Irish scones are made like white soda bread and are delicious with cream and jam

Flapjacks by Venessa Greenwood. Photograph: Harry Weir
Flapjacks

Flapjacks – the simple way. Photograph:  Harry Weir Photography

Vanessa Greenwood: Plenty of flour and not too much syrup are the keys to success

Jammy banana tartlets: unusual but delicious. Photograph: Harry Weir

Pairing a traditional pastry with the exotic flavour of bananas creates a special dessert

Apricot twists

Apricot twists. Photograph: Harry Weir

These sweet apricot twists are simple to make for a weekend breakfast treat

Venessa Greenwood’s madeleines dipped in white chocolate. Photograph:   Harry Weir Photography

The shell-shaped cake’s plain appearance masks a delightfully light and fluffy sponge

Vanessa Greenwood’s baked plums. Photograph: Harry Weir

This combination of soft fruit, warm syrup and ice-cream is unbeatable

Passion fruit tart

Delicious and special: passion fruit tart

This zingy, easy-to-make tart, served with whipped cream, is a dessert to savour

Florentines.
Florentines

Florentines. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography

Use up the leftover dried fruit from Christmas for these beautiful chocolate treats

Christmas chocolate roulade.

Decorate into a Yule log for an elaborate, luxurious seasonal centrepiece

Shortbread is very easy to make, with the added benefit of containing ingredients you probably already have. Photograph: Harry Weir

Simple cutter shapes ensure these tasty cookies hold their shapes

Chocolate bar cakes. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography

Don’t break the mould – you’ll need it for these festive cake bars

Make your own mincemeat this year, with this simple recipe

White chocolate mousse cake

These gluten-free treats are sure to impress. Make them in advance for effortless entertaining

Vanessa Greenwood’s white-chocolate mousse cake. Photograph: Harry Weir

Vanessa Greenwood: Make them in advance for effortless entertaining

Maple-roasted pecan pie photographed by Harry Weir

This deliciously rich dessert is a favourite on American tables at this time of year

 Vanessa Greenwood’s pistachio bakewell plait. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography

Pureed and chopped pistachios, and pomegranate, bring Middle Eastern sparkle

Variation on a classic slice: instead of jam, the middle layer is enriched with berries, adding a pleasant tartness that contrasts with the sweet buttery shortbread.

Served as slices or cut into squares, these are irresistible any time of day

Sticky, delicious, moreish. Photograph: Harry Weir

Baking: You won’t be able to resist this dessert, especially when served with ice cream

Chocolate pear tart with salted caramel. Photograph:  Harry Weir Photography

Vanessa Greenwood: Add wow factor to pear and almond tart with a salted caramel layer

Battenburg cake. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography

Battenberg is the king of cakes – and constructing it is a budding engineer’s dream

Photograph: Harry Weir

This chocolatey version is totally irresistible and doubles as a delicious dessert served with ice cream (serve with some extra me(...)

Banana bread. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography

Vanessa Greenwood: This chocolatey banana bread is delicious for dessert with ice cream

Photograph: Harry Weir
Orange cream biscuits

Photograph: Harry Weir

Vanessa Greenwood: Sandwich-style biscuits open a trove of icing and flavour options

Blueberry muffins: delicious and easy to make. Photograph: Harry Weir

Vanessa Greenwood: This 45-minute recipe produces a deliciously light texture

Red fruit and white chocolate bread and butter pudding.  Photograph:  Harry Weir

This mouth-watering version is light and moist with berries and white chocolate

Nut-free oatie bars

Similar to the flapjack but with less sugar and butter, these oat bars are also nut-free. Photograph: Harry Weir

Friday is often treat day and these tasty delights will thrill your child

Blackberry and apple crumble. Photograph: Harry Weir

This crumble recipe will produce a chewy rim of fruity lava to ooze through the topping

No cherries? Soft fruits such as figs, blueberries and blackberries can be substituted. Photograph: Harry Weir

Black cherries in a sweetened batter make a delicious and comforting treat

Photograph: Harry Weir

It only takes a few minutes to make up the batter, and washing-up is minimal

Crosata tart can be served at room temperature, but gently warming it  loosens the filling.  Photograph: iStock

Mediterranean tips about the wonders of baked fruit

Once you have a rich biscuit dough you can transform it into all sorts of tasty treats

More articles